The February 12, 2015 online article “Florida’s top child porn collector details his obsession” refers to this individual as an “archivist.” This is an egregious misuse of that term. An archivist holds a professional position with national and international standards of practice and conduct in accordance with a professional code of ethics. The vast majority of professional archivists hold a baccalaureate degree, and most have one or more advanced degrees related to their profession.
The Society of American Archivists represents more than 6,200 professional archivists employed by governments, universities, businesses, libraries, and historical organizations nationally. Archivists identify the essential evidence of our society and ensure its availability for use by students, teachers, organizational leaders, historians, genealogists, and a wide range of individuals with information needs. Our work support accountability, legal and fiscal needs, and accessibility to the voices and stories of the people and communities in this country. A single individual gathering information of any kind is, under no circumstances, appropriately termed an “archivist.”
Kathleen D. Roe
Society of American Archivists, President, 2014-2015